“He is working hard with Dave Walker (Orioles minor league medical coordinator) every day in Florida,” O’s director of minor league operations Kent Qualls said. “His follow-up appointment with Dr. (James) Andrews went well and he was cleared to begin a tossing program, where you play light catch, around the end of November. The rehab throwing program starts at six months which would be about the first of the year. He is right on schedule and doing well.”
The rehab throwing program will be on flat ground and Bundy likely won’t get back on a mound to begin a throwing progression until around April 1.
Bundy, who will turn 21 on Nov. 15, went 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA at three levels of the minors in 2012. In 103 2/3 innings, he gave up just 67 hits with 28 walks and 119 strikeouts, and he was ranked by Baseball America as baseball’s No. 2 overall prospect heading into 2013.
It is going to be a while before the Orioles have any sense of when Bundy can pitch in games again and it may take some time after that until he is back to the level he was at pre-surgery, which is normal for any player coming off Tommy John surgery.
In August, Bundy talked with MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko and you can read that interview here.
Bundy is expected to spend much of the offseason in Sarasota to continue his rehab. His brother Bobby is also rehabbing there, along with O’s 2013 seventh-round draft pick Drew Dosch.
Some fans have asked which players are possibilities to be added to the 40-man roster to be protected from December’s Rule 5 draft. Soon, I will publish a lengthy list of key players that are eligible for that draft. The O’s must set their roster for that draft by Nov. 20.
Four players likely to be in the discussion by the club to be added to the 40-man roster figure to be pitchers Tim Berry and Chris Jones, and catchers Caleb Joseph and Michael Ohlman. If I had to guess at the top four prospects on that list right now, that is it.
A left-hander, Berry went 11-7 with an ERA of 3.85 over 27 starts for Single-A Frederick. He has pitched to an ERA of 1.64 in four Arizona Fall League games this month and has thrown 10 straight scoreless innings in the AFL. Monday, Berry and Eduardo Rodriguez were selected to play in Saturday’s Fall Stars Game, the AFL’s version of an all-star game.
At Double-A Bowie in 2013, Joseph hit .299 with 31 doubles, 22 homers and 97 RBIs along with a .494 slugging percentage and .840 OPS. He led all O’s minor leaguers in RBIs, and finished first in the Eastern League in total bases, and second in hits and RBIs. He was fourth in average, homers and extra-base hits.
Ohlman won the 2013 Carolina League batting title, hitting .313 for Frederick and becoming the first Key to win the batting crown since Robbie Widlansky in 2009.
Ohlman also finished third in the league with a .410 on-base percentage and first in slugging at .524, which is also a Frederick single-season record. In 100 Keys games, he had 29 doubles, 13 homers, 53 RBIs and a .934 OPS.
Jones went 4-4 with a 2.85 ERA in the minors this season, mostly with Triple-A Norfolk. The lefty was acquired by the Orioles from Atlanta in the deal for Luis Ayala in April. Jones is a pending minor league free agent but the O’s are trying to re-sign him.
Right-hander Eddie Gamboa is off to a good start in the Mexican Winter League. Gamboa has a 2.08 ERA through two starts. Over 13 innings he has allowed nine hits with two walks and nine strikeouts.
Gamboa started throwing a knuckleball this season and continues to throw the pitch around 60 to 70 percent of the time this winter. He went seven innings allowing just one earned run against the league’s first-place club in his last start.
Stu Pomeranz is a right-hander who gave up two runs over six innings for the Orioles in May of 2012. He was in the O’s organization in 2013 but was rehabbing the entire year after he had corrective back surgery last spring. Pomeranz is not expected to be healthy enough to pitch in 2014. He will officially become a minor league free agent five days after the World Series.
Four members of the Orioles organization are currently in Australia and the opening games in the Australian Winter League are set for this Thursday.
Tucker Nathans, who played some infield and outfield in 2013, pitchers Kevin Grendell and Zach Staniewicz and outfielder Alexander Mercedes will be playing for the Perth Heat. Mercedes will be joining the team in mid November.
Nathans hit .273 this season with 10 homers and 56 RBIs between Single-A Delmarva and Frederick. Grendell, the O’s 11th-round pick in the 2012 draft, pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings this season in the Gulf Coast League. Staniewicz, who began throwing a knuckleball this year, went 1-1 with an ERA of 3.94 in 12 games in the GCL. The 21-year-old Mercedes hit .336 with one homer, 28 RBIs and a .906 OPS in the Dominican Summer League.
Buck Britton is about to begin playing winter ball in Venezuela. The Orioles 35th round pick in the 2008 draft will play for LaGuira.
Did you know?: If you scroll about halfway down a story here on MASNSports.com, you can click on the “Down on the Farm Report” icon and see some of the latest stories that were published here dealing with the O’s minors. You can catch up on recent stories you may have missed. Another helpful feature is the search tab in the top right of the page. You can enter a name of an O’s major or minor league player and it should bring up the latest stories where that name is mentioned. Try it sometime!